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Sustainable View

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has been recognized as the third greenest college in America — and the greenest college in Wisconsin — by the Sierra Club, the largest grassroots environmental organization in the country. The Sierra Club noted the university’s success in water and energy conservation, wind-powered electricity and recycling.

A 20-year agreement to bring solar power from North Carolina to D.C. could become a model for how large urban organizations can meet energy needs by tapping offsite solar energy.

The partnership, involving The George Washington University, American University and The George Washington University Hospital, is the latest step the two universities are taking toward carbon neutrality, which both have pledged to reach.

UC Davis' $8.5 million biodigester will provide an annual 5.6 million kilowatt hours to the campus

Food, yard and animal waste at University of California, Davis is being converted into energy by a biodigester that’s the largest of its kind on a college campus.

The $8.5 million facility, unveiled on Earth Day, will provide an annual 5.6 million kilowatt hours to the campus. That’s enough to power 800 California homes, says Sid England, assistant vice chancellor of environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Hampshire College librarian Jennifer King, student Sarah Jayne Klucken and science librarian Thea Atwood look through the seed catalog.

In western Massachusetts, Hampshire College students are “checking out” packets of fruit and vegetable seeds from the library to grow in pots on their patios and in community gardens. They will harvest new seeds from their plants to replenish the library’s collection.

Today’s up-and-coming millennials are taking different learning style and lifestyle trajectories than our country’s one-career, suburban dwelling baby boomers. Young 20- and 30-somethings have flocked to metropolitan centers seeking upscale amenities, edgy culture and a more sustainable way of living and learning. They are attracted by underground music venues, microbreweries, artist galleries utilizing nontoxic materials, and Wi-Fi cafes that serve free trade coffee.

Colleges and universities nationwide marked the 10th annual Campus Sustainability Day in October with events and discussions that reflect on the success of the sustainability movement in higher education.

Some 600 sustainability-related classes and a 15 percent reduction in water use over the past several years pushed the University of Connecticut to the top of the Sierra Club’s 2013 list of greenest campuses.

UConn also has cut 2,640 tons of carbon dioxide emissions within the last two years by retrofitting 13 buildings. And a quarter of the food served in its trayless dining halls is processed within 100 miles of campus, with some ingredients grown at the university, according the rankings.